Three Voyages for the Discovery of a Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and Narrative of an Attempt to Reach the North Pole, Volume 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 312 pages of information about Three Voyages for the Discovery of a Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and Narrative of an Attempt to Reach the North Pole, Volume 2.

SECOND VOYAGE

FOR THE DISCOVERY OF A

Northwest passage.

Continued.

CHAPTER X.

Departure from Winter Island.—­Meet with some Esquimaux travelling to the Northward.—­Obstruction and Danger from the Ice and Tides.—­Discovery of the Barrow River, and its Fall.—­Favourable Passage to the Northward.—­Arrival off the Strait of the Fury and Hecla.—­Progress opposed by a fixed barrier of Ice.—­Communicate with the Natives of Igloolik.—­Unsuccessful Attempt to get between the Ice and the Land—­Land upon the Calthorpe Islands.—­The Fury drifted by the Ice between two Islands.—­Account of a Journey performed in Sledges up an Inlet to the westward.

The gale, which had for some time been blowing from the northward, veered to the N.W.b.W., and increased in strength on the 1st of July, which soon began to produce the effect of drifting the ice off the land.  At six o’clock on the 2d, the report from the hill being favourable, and the wind and weather now also sufficiently so, we moved out of our winter’s dock, which was, indeed, in part broken to pieces by the swell that had lately set into the bay.  At seven we made sail, with a fresh breeze from W.N.W., and having cleared the rocks at the entrance of the bay, ran quickly to the northward and eastward.  The ice in the offing was of the “hummocky” kind, and drifting rapidly about with the tides, leaving us a navigable channel varying in width from two miles to three or four hundred yards.

The closeness of the ice again obliging us to make fast on the 3d, we soon after perceived a party of people with a sledge upon the land-floe.  I therefore sent Mr. Bushnan, with some of our men, to meet them and to bring them on board, being desirous of ascertaining whereabout, according to their geography, we now were.  We found the party to consist, as we expected, of those who had taken leave of us forty days before on their departure to the northward, and who now readily accompanied our people to the ships; leaving only Togolat’s idiot-boy by the sledge, tying him to a dog and the dog to the ice.  As soon as they came under the bows, they halted in a line, and, according to their former promise, gave three cheers, which salutation a few of us on the forecastle did not fail to return.  As soon as they got on board they expressed extreme joy at seeing us again, repeated each of our names with great earnestness, and were, indeed, much gratified by this unexpected encounter.  Ewerat being now mounted on the plank which goes across the gunwales of our ships for conning them conveniently among the ice, explained, in a very clear and pilot-like manner, that the island which we observed to lie off Cape Wilson was that marked by Iligliuk in one of her charts, and there called Awlikteewik, pronounced by Ewerat Ow-l=itt~ee-week.  On asking how

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Three Voyages for the Discovery of a Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and Narrative of an Attempt to Reach the North Pole, Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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